Spotlight on Old Town Cape

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Downtown Cape Girardeau (Kristin Eberts)

Claire Bruce lives downtown. She also works and plays downtown. She's the embodiment of Old Town Cape, a not-for-profit organization that, according to its website, "works toward revitalizing downtown Cape Girardeau."

"I'm not a suburban person," Claire says. "I've always been attracted to a downtown setting. I love what it allows. When you live downtown, you can walk to destinations. There's shopping, galleries, restaurants, coffee shops. And when you walk, you get to know the neighborhood and the people."

Claire has lived in big cities and small towns, but says Cape Girardeau is just the right size for her. She gives a lot of thanks to Old Town Cape for making the downtown a thriving area.

Old Town Cape is a nationally accredited Main Street Program under The National Trust for Historic Preservation. As such, the organization follows The Main Street Four Point Approach; the four points are promotion, design, economic restructuring and organization.

As a member of the economic restructuring committee, Claire has helped build a better business environment downtown, according to Old Town Cape executive director Marla Mills.

Mills says Claire was integral in developing Old Town Cape's Operation Main Street: Business Success Series program that, in partnership with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, provided one-on-one training and evaluation for downtown businesses. The classes gave owners the tools and expertise to grow their business.

In addition to working with businesses, Old Town Cape sponsors events like Tunes at Twilight and the Parade of Lights throughout the year to bring people downtown, making it an entertainment destination.

How to get involved

If you'd like to volunteer or donate to Old Town Cape, call 573-334-8085, email or visit

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